Mansfield Courier

Gerrans back in the saddle - for a short time

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LOCAL cyclist Simon Gerrans resumed his cycling career at the weekend after a three-month layoff due to a broken collarbone sustained on Mt Buller.

His return race was the Strade Bianche (Italian for ‘white road’), a 200km race featuring 50km of unpaved sand road in 10 different sectors.

It c r ossed Tuscany, starting beneath the towers of San Gimignano and finished in the famous Piazza il Campo in Siena, the home of the Palio.

Unfortunat­ely, Gerrans did not get to see the Piazza il Campo as he fell after 110km and sustained a fractured elbow.

“To be starting the season a bit later and having seen so much racing happen until this point in time, I was really keen to get among it,” Gerrans said.

“Everyone speaks really highly of the race, it’s an exciting parcour with the gravel sections and a lot of climbing so being my first go at Strade Bianche and my first race for the season I was really looking forward to both.”

The 34-year-old settled quickly back into the racing environmen­t.

Windy conditions gave him no choice in that matter as the jostle for position became even more crucial within the peloton.

Fast forward 110km and Gerrans’ day turned for the worse when he landed awkwardly in a crash, injuring his elbow.

Not immediatel­y realis- ing the extent of the damage, Gerrans took a new bike and persisted with the chase back to the group.

Before long, the stiffness in his arm increased and concerns were confirmed upon reaching the next sector of gravel as the vibration caused significan­t pain.

Withdrawin­g shortly down the road, he returned to the finish line in Siena with team doctors and went to hospital where x-rays confirmed a small fracture in the radial head of his elbow.

“Basically, the doctor at the hospital said we should put it in a cast for about three weeks and that I need to keep the elbow immobile while it heals,” Gerrans explained.

“But funnily enough, it’s an injury I have had in the past.

“I had the same sort of fracture to this same elbow in the 2010 Tour de France, so it’s not something I am unfamiliar with.”

Back then he was about 10 days in a cast and rode the home trainer nearly that entire period and then was back on the road pretty quickly.

“I am really hoping it’s going to be a similar scenario here, where I will keep the cast on my arm for 10 days or so, where I plan to spend quite a bit of time on the home trainer and then I hope to be back on the road a few days prior to Catalunya and still racing there,” he added optimistic­ally.

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 ??  ?? TUSCAN BEAUTY: The cyclists in the Strade Bianche tackle one of the unpaved sand road sections.
TUSCAN BEAUTY: The cyclists in the Strade Bianche tackle one of the unpaved sand road sections.
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